un-becoming an audiophile

Yes, the title is what is sounds like.

I remember long ago, as a boy, I used to be able to enjoy music without picking apart a track. is the bass tight? is the midrange clear and life-like? is the treble resolution spot on? What about imaging/sound stage?

Most people have this very same superpower - not being an audiophile. They can play a song from the worst earbuds, laptop speakers, or even computer speakers - and enjoy the music; even sing along. They aren’t thinking about "how it sounds" or scrutinizing the audio quality. Actually, they couldn’t care less. They can spend their time on other life pursuits and don’t feel a need to invest big money (or much money at all) in the hi-fi hobby.

Any psychologists or scientists in the building? (please no Amir @amir_asr ) since you are neither! ...despite the word "science" being in your domain name - audio science review.

Please, I beg you. Help me get away from this hobby.

Imagine - being able to enjoy all of your favourite music - while still achieving that dopamine rush, along with serotonin, and even oxytocin - the bonding hormone, which can be released while listening to songs with deep emotional messages, or love songs.

We’re very much like food critics or chefs in a sense. We want the best of something (in this case, audio) I’m sure michelin star chefs face the same thing in their own right...can’t enoy or even eat the food unless it’s up to a certain standard.

When we audiophiles want to listen to music, we often play it on a resolving system, so as to partake in a a "high-end" listening experience. We often pick apart music and fault the audio components in our system, cables etc. All of this takes away from the experience of enjoying music as a form of art/entertainment. It has been said that some famous artists don’t even own a high-end audio system.

I gained a great deal of wisdom of from the documentary - Greek Audiophile. In it, we have audiophiles from all walks of life. Their families think they’re crazy for spending all this money on audio. They say it sounds "nice" or "real" but still can’t justify it.

I think it’s all in the brain. If we can reset our brains (or me at least) I can still enjoy music without needing a great system for it.

- Jack



@prndlus So very well said! What people often seem to be complaining about -- when they're not shouting "It's a conspiracy by the industry!" (LOL), is that they cannot control their own minds. Instead of owning that (as you have) they blame the hobby or say it's not a hobby. Flagrant displays of ressentiment, if you ask me.


I had to make a conscious decision that there are times to be critical and times to put that aside.

That doesn’t mean that the critic is subdued completely, but it’s a habit that can be developed that puts the critic back into proper perspective.

Audiophiles are entry-level. You can grow out of it and see the light. Ignore the weak chinless dynamics in a box for car prices ignore the 3ft tall audiophile towers ignore the cables that cost more than a nice Ducati. Ignore the giant class-A amplifiers that use as much power as your dryer. Consider horns a small tube amp and just enjoy music in your life.

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I listen a lot in my car. I have an Audi that has an ok B&O system. Lots of music on my iPhone. Drive fast listen to music! At home I have a Naim Muso v.2 sounds ok. I try not to listen critically. I have a big system too. But I’m waiting for new speakers and I haven’t listened to that system in months.